Commencement FAQ

When will I receive specific information regarding May Commencement?

Information concerning May Graduate Commencement is provided throughout the Graduate School Commencement website. May degree candidates and August and January graduates will received an official email with “to do action items” in early March. This will include information for cap and gown ordering, name and hometown verification for the diploma and program, and any updated information concerning Commencement weekend events.

What events do I need to attend?

All graduates are encouraged to take part in all departmental and college commencement related events. In addition, many graduates traditionally participate in the Graduate Commencement Mass on Friday and the University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday. Please visit the Schedule of Events page.

When will I receive my diploma?

You will receive your diploma at the Graduate Commencement Ceremony. If you do not attend the Graduate Commencement Ceremony, you will need to contact the Registrar’s office to obtain your diploma.

Cap and Gown/Hooding Protocol

An integral part of the Commencement Ceremony is the hooding of PhD graduates. The doctoral hood, carried on stage by the graduates, is placed over the head and onto the shoulders, symbolizing support of the graduate and passing on of knowledge between one generation of doctorates to another. Generally, the faculty advisor, dissertation chair, or another faculty member of the dissertation committee performs the hooding. Asking and arranging for a faculty member to be a hooder is left to the discretion of the graduate. More information regarding the ordering for graduate regalia can be found here.

Graduate Commencement Mass

All members of the Notre Dame community are invited to the Graduate Mass and Blessing (Basilica of the Sacred Heart), especially graduating masters and doctoral students and their families and guests. No tickets are needed for this event.

Accessibility Information for Guests

Compton Family Ice Arena is fully accessible for guests.

Regarding transport to or from Compton for guests with mobility limitations, the Registrar’s office has provided the following information: a number of golf carts will operate from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, and Saturday and from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday to provide assistance for those with mobility limitations. Contact NDSP at 574-631-5555 for further assistance.

In the past, students have also rented wheelchairs for family members with mobility limitations. Rental wheelchairs are available from local vendors. For information please see the university's commencement website.

Potential Banned Items

As part of an ongoing commitment to safety and security, the University of Notre Dame will continue to institute policies on items that are permitted in and around our campus buildings. Please click here for more information on potential banned items for Compton Family Ice Arena.

Visitors Information

All students, staff, faculty, friends and family of the participants are invited to attend the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony on Saturday. Guest tickets are not required for this ceremony, but we do ask that you provide a rough count of those who will be attending to ensure adequate seating arrangements. More information regarding the Commencement Weekend can be found by clicking here.

Commencement Photos

GradImages® is the official photographer and will be taking individual photos of each graduate at the Graduate Commencement Ceremony. Proofs will be emailed and/or mailed to students along with information for ordering prints. 

To expedite your proofs, please visit GradImages website to pre-register your contact information at or they can be reached at 800-261-2576.

Live Web Stream

Family and friends unable to attend the ceremony are invited to view a live webcast of Saturday morning's Graduate School Commencement Ceremony, featuring the commencement speaker's address and the conferral of awards and degrees.